Bone mineral densitometry (BMD)

It is used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess fracture risk. BMD can also monitor bone density if you are undergoing treatment for osteoporosis. The usual regions scanned are the lower spine and hips.

How should I prepare for a bone mineral densitometry scan?

There is no special preparation required for a BMD scan. Where possible, wear clothing without metallic objects such as zips or metal buttons that can affect the scan reading.

Please bring any previous bone densitometry results to your appointment so that we can assess changes in bone density. Do not schedule your BMD scan within one week of having a barium meal or enema, an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a nuclear medicine study or a CT scan.

On the day of your appointment

Epworth Medical Imaging's friendly staff will greet you on arrival and take your referral form. A radiographer will collect you from reception and ask you to change into a gown if necessary.

A bone mineral densitometry scan is a painless, easy examination. You will be positioned on the DEXA scanning table and asked to lie still for 5 to 7 minutes while a scanning arm passes above you. The radiographer will remain in the room with you at all times.

The total duration of a bone mineral densitometry appointment is about 30 minutes, which allows our staff to take a medical history before the scan.

Results

Following your examination, the radiographer will analyse the results on the computer and refer them to a radiologist for reporting. A copy of your report will be sent to your GP or specialist.